NEW YORK - August 28, 2001 – Today at noon, Mr. Haiying He, the plaintiff, together with the Human Rights Attorney Terri E. Marsh and New York-based supporters of Falun Gong held a press conference to disclose details of their charging a high-ranking Communist Party official with crimes against humanity for his persecution and torture of Mr. He’s sister. Mr. Zhou Yongkang, the General Secretary of the Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party of Sichuan Province, has been charged with committing serious human rights abuses – including torture, disappearance, false imprisonment, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
The complaint is being filed by Haiying He, 32, of Boston, whose sister, an elementary school teacher in China, has been subjected to torture and other rights abuses in the custody of Sichuan Province authorities. She disappeared in June and has not been seen since; family believe that she has been executed.
Haiying He stated, "Why do I sue Zhou Yongkang? I want to ask him, where is my sister Haiyan He?" and continued, "Why do I sue Zhou Yongkang? … He is directly responsible for all the sufferings my family, and all the Falun Gong practitioners in Sichuan Province, have been experiencing in this campaign to eliminate Falun Gong."
Mr. Zhou was served with a complaint yesterday afternoon around 3 o’clock, accused of violating the Torture Victims Protection Act and the Alien Tort Claims Act. The complaint was filed yesterday morning in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.
The suspect, who was served the complaint in front of the 911 Center in Chicago, Illinois, is believed to have worked in concert with other officials of the Communist Party and high-ranking officials of the Sichuan provincial government to target practitioners of Falun Gong. Sources contend he authorized, supervised, and endorsed the use of means such as murder, torture and disappearance in order to intimidate and eliminate Falun Gong in his region.
Attorney Ms. Terri E. Marsh summarized the event, "We are filing this complaint because we are committed to stopping the campaign of violence and hatred against Falun Gong in China with backing of the United States’ legal system, which is committed to the rule of law and the Law of Nations. We intend – no matter how many law suits it requires – to end the persecution of Falun Gong in China."